Floods left AA 'storm-chasers' overwhelmed
The Taunton area was hit worse by floods in 2012 than any other place in the UK according to the AA which last month saw an amazing 11,600% increase in flood-related call-outs in the area around the town.
The motoring organisation has reported that during the recent floods it sent a special operations team to the Westcountry to help deal with stricken cars – but even the highly trained specialists were overwhelmed by the number of call-outs.
Last year was the AA's busiest year ever for flood-related call-outs – nationwide its teams went to the aid of 8,211 cars driven through or stuck in floodwater, up from 1,280 in 2011.
And the Westcountry bore the brunt of the AA's wet weather operations with a 1,555% increase in flood-related call-outs – up from 118 cars in 2011 to 1,953 in 2012.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Our Taunton area saw the highest national increase in flood related work with an incredible 11,600% jump in call-outs," said AA spokesman Gavin Hill-Smith. "Admittedly we started with a low base for 2011 when there were just two flood-related cases around Taunton – but in 2012 that jumped to 234 call-outs from people stuck in floods.
"The biggest risk factor is when water enters a vehicle's air-intake," said Mr Hill-Smith. "That's quite low down on modern cars, almost bumper-height – and if people are going too fast or too deep through water then it will enter the engine. It only takes a thimble-full.
"Fuel and air compress as the engine works, but water doesn't – so what often happens is that it can break con-rods and even seize engines. It is potentially a very serious problem and our advice, should you be confronted by floodwater, is to stop.
"Electrics are another thing that can go wrong," he added.
Mr Hill-Smith explained that the AA's specialist teams were like "storm-chasers".
"We deploy these teams to the worst affected area – normally in advance of something like heavy rain that will cause flooding. The problem is such rain can cause problems very quickly.
"Our regular patrols have normal vans, but the people in the flood rescue teams have Land Rovers with snorkel-intakes which means they can go into deeper water – and special equipment on board, such as decontamination units.
"Floodwater can carry 30 or 40 different diseases – so the volunteers who man our teams have to clean themselves off after a call-out."
Ice warning for Devon as temperatures set to drop, with a chance of snow